Tag Archives: Sea horses

Student Art Inspired by “Sea Horse, run!”

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Mrs. Daniel’s 4th grade class at Nolan Elementary in Signal Mountain, Tennessee gave me a wonderful set of pictures based on my books. Here is a sample of their work from “Sea Horse, run!”.

Keegan drew the above picture of Sea Horse. His question on the back of the picture reads: “How did sea horse hear coral, a plant, singing to him?”

Great question, Keegan! Coral is not a plant. Coral looks like a plant, but she is actually a group of tiny animals. A choir or chorus is an organized group of singers, and since Coral is an organized cluster of tiny animals, I thought she ought to sing like a choir.

Learn more about why Coral sings in the story by reading Coral as Greek Chorus or click on a question below to learn more about corals:

What is a coral polyp?
How do polyps eat?
How are corals named?
Why are corals important to sea horses?
Do coral polyps have eyes?

Preslee likes my jellyfish. I like Preslee’s jellies (above), too!

Nick also drew jellies (above). Nick asks, “Why did you pick jellyfish for the dedication page?”

Jellyfish are a symbol for acceptance, so the appearance of jellyfish before the story even begins foreshadows or predicts that acceptance will be an important theme in the story. The poor Sea Dragon is misunderstood! Sea Horse learns to ignore gossip and accept Sea Dragon for who he really is.

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The Amazing Sea Horse Life Cycle

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Sea Horse Life Cycle

From page 28 of "Sea Horse, run!" ©2011 by Tammy Carter Bronson

The sea horse has an amazing life cycle that begins with the courtship dance. Once the courtship is complete, the female fills the male’s brood pouch with eggs. Baby sea horses grow in the male’s brood pouch, and as you can see in my illustration above, the male sea horse gives birth. Depending on the species, one birth can produce about 1,500 babies. What a fascinating fish!

Sea Horse Courtship Dance at the Monterey Bay Aquarium:

[youtube http://youtu.be/zvGRVWGpdNg]

More Blog Posts About Sea Horses:

Fun Facts About Sea Horses

This post answers basic questions such as…

  • Where do sea horses live?
  • Why do they hide?
  • How do they move?
  • What do sea horses eat?
  • What is the largest and smallest sea horse?

Why are corals important to sea horses?

Sea Horses in London

Draw Sea Horse with the Dot-to-Dot Activity.

Label and color the Sea Horse Diagram.

Recommended books and resources are on my Teacher/Student page.

Fun Facts About Sea Horses

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Sea horses are classified in the family Syngnathidae (pronounced sin-NATH-ih-dee). Every animal in this family is a fish. Syngnathdae is Greek for ‘fused jaws’ because the mouths of fish in this family do not open or close. About 330 species of Syngnathidae have been classified. Thirty-seven of these species are sea horses, three are sea dragons (Leafy, Weedy, and Ribboned), and the rest are pipehorses or pipefishes.*

Where do sea horses live?
Most sea horses live in shallow ocean water near land. Sea horses may be found in estuaries, mangrove swamps, sea grass meadows, or reefs around the world.

Why do sea horses hide?
Larger fish like tuna or red snapper eat sea horses. Sea turtles, sting rays, sharks and even penguins munch on sea horses, too. Sea horses hide from these predators by changing color to match their environment.

How do sea horses move?
Sea horses move slowly by means of fins that beat as fast as 70 times per second! The dorsal fin propels the sea horse forwards. Sea horses have two, small pectoral fins (one behind each gill) that allow the sea horse to hover or change direction.

Sea Horse Diagram

Sea Horse Diagram by Tammy Carter Bronson

What do sea horses eat?
Sea horses do not have teeth, so they swallow their food whole. Sea horses suck food into their long, narrow snout, but the food must be tiny to fit through their mouth. Sea horses eat zooplankton, little shrimp, and the larvae of fish, crab, or worms. Sea horses do not have stomachs either. Without a stomach, sea horses cannot digest food well, so they have to eat large amounts in order to survive. Sea horses may eat for up to 10 hours per day, and they may swallow 50 to 300 tiny animals per hour!

What is the largest sea horse?
The Big-Bellied Sea Horse (Hippocampus abdominalis) is the largest species. These sea horses may reach fourteen inches in length!

What is the smallest sea horse?
Hippocampus denise is a pygmy sea horse that measures about half an inch in length.

More About Sea Horses…

Sea Horses and Corals

Sea Horse Diagram for the Classroom

Draw and Color a Sea Horse with a Dot-to-Dot Activity

*My Favorite References…

Seahorses, Pipefishes and Their Relatives: A Comprehensive Guide to Syngnathiformes. 
Author Rudie H. Kuiter. TMC Publishing, Chorleywood, UK. Revised 2003.

Poseidon’s Steed: The Story of Seahorses, From Myth to Reality. 
Author Helen Scales, Ph.D. Gothan Books, New York, NY, USA.  ©2009.

Project Seahorse.
Author Pamela S. Turner. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, New York, NY, USA. ©2010.

Visit Project Sea Horse Online.

An Overview of My Reading at the Blair Library

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So many of my best ideas come from research that at every school I visit, I introduce myself by by describing the library where my research begins: the Blair Library (a.k.a. the Fayetteville Public Library) in my hometown, Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The Fayetteville Public Library was the recipient of Library Journal's 2005 Library of the Year Award. Photo by me!

Today I read “Sea Horse, run!” at 10:30 am in the Walker Community Room at my favorite library. A wonderful audience filled with children, parents, and educators heard my dramatic reading (yes, I sang Coral’s part!), then I launched into how I created my new, award-winning picture book. I’ve written a few blog articles about some of the topics I discussed such as…

Rewriting the end of “Sea Horse, run!”. (Spoiler Alert!!!) This post includes the video I showed during my presentation. You’ll see step by step how I research and draw characters for the book.

The Power of Three. The number “3” defines story structure and is an important number in children’s stories.

 

 

One thing I forgot to discuss during my presentation is why Coral sings in the story. Read Coral as Greek Chorus to find out.

I brought markers, boxes of crayons, and copies of activities for the kids. Several children came up the stage and colored the pictures while I read the book.

Activity for SEA HORSE, RUN!         Activity for SEA HORSE, RUN!     Dot-to-Dot Activity

You can check out a copy of “Sea Horse, run!” at the Blair Library (a.k.a. the Fayetteville Public Library), or purchase a hardcover in Fayetteville at Nightbird Books on Dickson Street, French Quarters Antiques on Block Street, or Barnes & Noble across from the Northwest Arkansas Mall.

Fayetteville's Blair Library.

Blair Library became the first building in Arkansas to register with the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification program. The library received its LEED silver certification from the USGBC in December 2006. Read more or visit  Fayetteville’s Blair Library online at: www.faylib.org.

Want to learn more about me (Tammy Carter Bronson)? Visit my personal blog or read a recent post that sums up 2011 so far: “Summer 2011 in Review.”

Aquarium Gift Shops Love “Sea Horse, run!”

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Two Leafies

Pair of Leafy Sea Dragons at the Dallas World Aquarium. Picture by Tammy Carter Bronson (2010)

Updated 3/31/12:

So far, seven aquariums have ordered “SEA HORSE, RUN!”. Here is the list of aquarium gift shops with copies of the book:

Tennessee Aquarium
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Purchase Online

Aquarium of the Pacific
Long Beach, California

Columbus Zoo & Aquarium
Powell, Ohio

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
San Pedro, California

Dallas World Aquarium
Dallas, Texas
Book of the Month in the Winter 2011 Dallas World Aquarium Newsletter

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
New Orleans, Louisiana

SeaWorld
San Diego, CA
San Antonio, TX
Orlando, FL

Corals and Sea Horses

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Why are corals important to sea horses?

Many species of sea horses are entirely dependent on their coral environment for protection. Sea horses can change their color and texture to mimic the corals they are attached to which means the corals provide the perfect hiding place from predators. Since corals often protect sea horses, I thought it would be a nice reversal in “SEA HORSE, RUN!” to have my hero, Sea Horse, protecting his best friend, Coral.

Sea Horse & Coral

Sea Horse looks yellow like his best friend, Coral.

Also, many species of coral and even some coral reefs are endangered around the world, so it was easy to imagine Coral needed to be protected in the story. But protected from what? That was the hard part. I knew the danger needed to be concrete for young readers, so I chose a sea dragon because the word ‘dragon’ definitely excites the imagination!

Sea Horse and Sea Dragon

Sea Horse and Leafy. Leafy is a sea dragon!

Click on a question or link below to learn more about corals:

What is a coral polyp?

How do polyps eat?

How are corals named?

Why are corals important to sea horses?

Do coral polyps have eyes?

“Sea Horse, run!” Wins First Award June 2011

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Click to view the PDF: Press Release 14 June 2011

ARKANSAS AUTHOR WINS INTERNATIONAL AWARD

14 June 2011, Fayetteville, AR, USA

Arkansas author and illustrator Tammy Carter Bronson won the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Award for her new children’s picture book, “Sea Horse, run!”.

Indie Book Award LogoThe Next Generation Indie Book Awards is the largest not-for-profit book awards program for indie authors and independent publishers. The award is open to all indie book authors and publishers including small to mid-size publishers, university presses, self-published authors, e-book authors, seasoned authors and even first time authors in the U.S., Canada or internationally who have a book written in English. Awards are given in sixty different categories, but according to Mrs. Bronson, “The children’s picture book category is very popular and competitive. At best I hoped to place as one of the three finalists. I never imagined I would win!”

Next Generation Indie Book Awards

The Next Generation Indie Book Awards were established in 2008 to recognize and honor the most exceptional independently published books of the year. Winners receive gold medals and are featured in national news media and events. Presented by the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group (www.ibppg.com), award winners also receive a cash prize and the opportunity to display gold award stickers on their book.

Tammy Carter Bronson lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She is the author and illustrator of three previous picture books: Tiny Snail (2000), The Kaleidonotes & the Mixed-Up Orchestra (2001), and Polliwog (2004). The award-winning “Sea Horse, run!” is her fourth picture book.

Two book signings are scheduled in Fayetteville: one at Barnes & Noble on Saturday, July 9th at 3:00 PM and another at Nightbird Books, Saturday, August 6th at 1:30 PM.

QS? Contact: Matthew Shane Bronson, Publicity Department
Bookaroos Publishing, Inc., P. O. Box 8518, Fayetteville, AR 72703
Phone/Fax 479-443-0339 or 479-443-6789, books@bookaroos.com, http://www.bookaroos.com

Category

Audience

Title

Pages

Price

Binding

ISBN

Publication Date

Publisher

Websites

Children’s Picture Book

Ages 3 to 8 years

Sea Horse, run!

32 pages with 21 illustrations

$17.00

Hardcover

978-0-9678167-7-7

June 1, 2011

Bookaroos Publishing, Inc.

http://www.bookaroos.com

http://www.seahorserun.com

http://www.tammybronson.com

Press Release 24 January 2011

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The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss, 1957

Image via Wikipedia

Click to view PDF: Press Release 24 January 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WRITER/ARTIST EMULATES DR. SEUSS

24 January 2011, Fayetteville, AR, USA

In 1954 Dr. Seuss set out to create a primer that would be more appealing to children than Dick and Jane. Three years later The Cat in the Hat was published. “I loved The Cat in the Hat when I was a kid,” explains Tammy Carter Bronson, the author and illustrator of Sea Horse, run! “It was pure fantasy, but my story needed to happen in a real place.”

The coral reef was the perfect setting for the brilliant colors in Mrs. Bronson’s collages. “I do a lot of research for my books,” she says, “but the art requires the most. I always start in the library, but for Sea Horse, run! I also visited seven different aquariums across the country.” Mrs. Bronson uses dry-brush watercolor with some pencil and colored pencil then she cuts and pastes everything together in the computer adding a few special effects.

Seuss limited himself to a 1st grade word list for The Cat in the Hat ultimately using only 236 different words for his story which was 1,623 words in length. “I wanted to limit myself to half as many total words as The Cat in the Hat,” says Mrs. Bronson, “about 800, and in the end I managed an 849 word story with 282 different words.”

Book Cover

SEA HORSE, RUN! Book Cover

But the last thing Mrs. Bronson wanted to do was write a story that would only appeal to 1st grade readers. “I tried to emulate what Dr. Seuss did for The Cat in the Hat, but I wanted Sea Horse, run! to have an environmental flair. I think I’ve created a primer for the 21st century that will be fun for teachers and parents, too.”

Tammy Carter Bronson is the author and illustrator of three picture books: Tiny Snail, The Kaleidonotes & the Mixed-Up Orchestra, and Polliwog. Sea Horse, run! is her fourth book and will be available in bookstores June 1, 2011.

QS? Contact: Matthew Shane Bronson, Publicity Department
Bookaroos Publishing, Inc., P. O. Box 8518, Fayetteville, AR 72703
Phone/Fax 479-443-0339, Alt Fax 479-443-6789
books@bookaroos.com, http://www.bookaroos.com

 

Category

Audience

Title

Pages

Price

Binding

ISBN

Publication Date

Publisher

Websites

Children’s Picture Book

Ages 3 to 8 years

Sea Horse, run!

32 pages with 21 illustrations

$17.00

Hardcover

978-0-9678167-7-7

June 1, 2011

Bookaroos Publishing, Inc.

http://www.bookaroos.com

http://www.seahorserun.com

http://www.tammybronson.com

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